Housing experts predict that quarter four of 2018 has paved the way for a more affordable housing market in 2019. This is especially true for entry-level home buyers who experienced mortgage rates rising to 5% at the end of 2018 and the 86 straight months of price gains in the average home.

Now in 2019, things are looking quite different. According to Lawrence Yun, The NAR’s Chief Economist,

“We are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions […] also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”

All of this bodes well for mortgage lenders looking to capitalize on this pent up demand to purchase real estate. In order to come out on the successful side of this increase in sales, it’s important to equip yourself with the best lead generation strategies available today. We’ve compiled the 10 strategies you can employ with your business that will help lead you to market dominance. With these strategies you will see your lending business improve, and they will offer tips in how you can connect with more leads and convert more sales.

1. Nurture leads based on their place in the buying cycle

The sales cycle of real estate is long. Studies indicate that 50% of potential homebuyers begin their formal search process anywhere between 6 and 12 months before actually purchasing their home. Knowing this, utilize your CRM and focus on a long, drawn out process. The industry standard for number of times responding to a lead is 1.3 times. If a lead is potentially going to lay dormant for months, it’s important to utilize tools that keep the lead qualified over the long haul.

2. Build trust with social proof

Studies suggest that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Furthermore, the same study says that 72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust businesses more. Lead conversion (and any type of financial exchange for that matter) relies on trust, and trust is partly built by social proof. If you are able to provide social proof on landing pages, sales pages, email promotions, and other related marketing material you will see an increase in conversion rates.

3. Identify and promote your unique value proposition

What makes you unique? It’s a serious question that not many businesses take into consideration. Legendary marketer, Seth Godin, has a great quote that exemplifies the need for a value proposition, “Everyone is not your customer.” In other words, if you sell to everyone– you’ll sell to no one. What makes your company of unique value? What is the ideal customer you are looking for? When you answer the first question you’ll be able to answer the second.

4. Build your own content-based lead generation

Why are so many companies building their own blogs, creating videos, and generating other forms of content? Because it works! Generating content helps promote your website’s SEO. More importantly, it gets your name in front of potential customers. What types of industry related content can you provide your potential customers that help build trust in their eyes?

Awesome Example of Content-Based Lead Generation
Sean Cahan a.k.a. The Mortgage Geek

The president of Cornerstone Mortgage group, Sean Cahan, wanted a way to help educate the real estate community in a more engaging way. Instead of conforming to the somewhat stuffy nature of traditional mortgage education, he and his friend/business partner created a character called The Mortgage Geek. As the Mortgage Geek he uses his big personality, high energy, and hilarious antics as a way to not only educate his audience, but to grab (and keep) their attention, and in turn grow his customer base. Click here to check out his awesome videos.

5. Create an incentive-based referral system

Like we’ve already discussed, people buy from people they trust. Referrals have been a staple marketing strategy for decades. Your past customers can be your greatest lead generation asset. The important thing to take away here is incentivizing your past customers to make referrals. People don’t just do things out of the goodness of their heart. Make sure you create an incentive that pushes your past customer to share your business.

6. Be part of the community

It seems almost too obvious to include, however many forget that getting your face in front of people, shaking the community’s hands, and exchanging business cards will go a long way in generating leads and ultimately building trust with the potential home buyers [literally] right next door.

Awesome Example of Community
Bill Jawitz & Fairway Mortgage

Bill Jawitz and the folks over at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation know a thing or two about what it means to give back to the community. Through their partnership with the American Warrior Initiative they have been able to positively impact many U.S. veterans across the country by providing donations that go on to fund things such as service dogs, home repairs, small business grants, and more.

7. Build a conversion-based website

According to survey conducted by NAR, 9 out of 10 home buyers rely on the internet as their top research tool. When home buyers are on the internet researching homes, it’s a matter of time before they come across your site (especially if you are optimizing your SEO, Google My Business, and other online tools). Once the customer reaches your site, it’s important to incentivize them to stay there. What type of social proof are you providing? Do you clearly state your unique value proposition? Are you using opt-ins to collect a potential customer’s email information? This will help you generate and nurture potential leads.

8. Utilize social media

If utilized correctly, social media can be some of your most cost effective marketing channels. It’s even more effective when you pair your outreach with an optimal landing page. According to Hubspot, LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%). While Linkedin can provide the highest conversion with your leads, we recommend utilizing all the sites if you have the bandwidth.

9. Network with divorce attorneys

It’s a simple truth that when couples divorce, they are more than likely to sell the house they shared during their marriage and purchase new homes for themselves after the sale. You can meet divorce lawyers in your local Chamber of Commerce.

10. Outsource your lead qualification efforts

Your lead strategy is taxing on your resources. You wear many different hats when it comes to your business and it’s hard to stay on top of contacting and qualifying your leads. Sometimes it’s hard for your own ISAs to do the same. Sometimes you need to outsource the work on your behalf. Hiring a professional team to qualify leads who contact the leads first are 68% more likely to convert a lead over their competition.

2019 is a year that is going to see an increase in home buying. It’s important for you to utilize all the tools at your disposal in order to come out ahead of your competition and secure all the mortgage deals that come your way. We get it, you don’t always have the bandwidth to constantly be reaching out to leads over the course of 6 months. So why not let someone else do it for you?